Liberty Global begins Telenet buyout process


Telenet shareholders able to tender their shares during an initial acceptance period between 8 June until 12 July at €22 per share

Today, Liberty Global has published its prospectus related to its voluntary and conditional public takeover bid for Belgium’s largest fixed broadband operator, Telenet.

The offer is for €22 per share, minus the €1 gross dividend approved by Telenet’s ordinary general meeting in April this year and subsequently paid in May. Shareholders will be able to accept the offer from tomorrow (8 July) until 12 July, with Liberty Global set to announce the results on 19 July.

Liberty Global’s offer to take Telenet private was first announced in March this year, with the bid totalling around €929 million.

The offer is conditional on Liberty Global ultimately owning at least 95% of the total shares in Telenet; if this is achieved and the deal goes ahead, Liberty Global will then begin the simplified squeeze-out process of acquiring the remaining shares.

Liberty Global currently owns 58.18% of Telenet, with minority shareholders holding 37.73%.

“We are pleased to announce the approval of our Offer prospectus. Telenet shareholders can start tendering their shares on June 8, 2023 at an attractive premium. We are committed to maintaining Telenet’s status as a leading and pioneering telecommunications and entertainment company in Belgium,” said Liberty CEO Mike Fries.

In an official response memorandum also published today, Telenet’s Board of Directors expressed unanimous support for the offer.

It is worth noting that this is not the first time that Liberty has tried to buyout Telenet’s minority shareholders. Back in 2012, the company made a takeover offer at the price of €35 per share, a sum that was ultimately deemed to undervalue the Belgian operator.

However, over the past year, high inflation and soaring energy costs have seen Telenet’s shareprice fall by around half, presenting Liberty Global with an attractive opportunity to take the business private.

In related news, Liberty Global is currently seeking to redomicile itself in Bermuda, a move which Fries claims is primarily motivated by better aligning the company with US regulations and the interest of US shareholders. The proposal has caused controversy, however, with stakeholders suggesting that it will present Fries and company chairman John Malone with disproportionate voting powers.

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